“… stay true to the Lord.” Philippians 4:1a (NLT)
How do you stay true to God? Concerned that Christ followers in Philippi may wander from the faith, Paul writes this closing challenge to them,
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord….”
Whenever you see the word “therefore” in the Bible, you want to ask yourself the question, “What’s it there for?” Look back to the previous verses in Philippians 3:20-21 where Paul says,
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.”
With that challenge, he gives practical counsel as to how to stay true to God.
• First, we can stay true to God when we keep our focus on Jesus and remember that this world is not our home. One day, Jesus is coming back and will bring everything under His control.
• Second, we can stay true when we pray about everything.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 NLT)
• Third, staying true to God requires us to think about the right things.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Vs. 8)
• Fourth, if I am to stay true to God, I must learn to be content.
“I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Vs. 11-13)
Let’s be honest. Because we’re all from The Adam’s Family, we’re weird and our hearts are prone to wander. Staying true to God won’t happen by accident. Nothing good does. That’s why they call it an accident. Be vigilant. Keep your focus on the one thing that changes everything – Jesus Christ. Until He returns, continue in prayer. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Fix your thoughts because your mind, like your body, is fallen and broken. And learn to be content. We can do this. We can stay true to God through Christ who gives us strength! But, if you have wandered away, confess that to God right now and return. Let Him restore your soul and get you back on track. He’s the God of another chance!